Some notes made by a friend:
Malachi Taylor (9 Oct 1827 — 27 Nov 1897)
Malachi Taylor was born near Philadelphia, PA, on 9 Oct 1828. He trained as a Baptist minister at Rochester Theological Seminary, which opened for instruction on November 4, 1850.
Having graduated from Bucknell University in 1853, he completed his theological training at Rochester Theological Seminary in 1855, and was ordained in the Tenth Church, Philadelphia in November of that year.
He served as Pastor at Washington, PA, from 1855 to 1857; then Whitehall, NY, from 1857 to 1859; and Philadelphia, PA, from 1859-61. Afterwards he was Corresponding Secretary for the Pennsylvania State Convention from 1861-65; Pastor at Bristol, 1863-65; and Detroit, Michigan in 1866.
He commenced association with “Brethren” in 1866; and engaged in literature work and in conducting Bible readings. Edited Sound Words, and Pure Streams, 1873-80. Wrote Musings in the Wilderness (poems); notes on Ephesians, Revelation, the Acts, John, Romans, Philippians, Colossians, First Epistle of John, and many tracts.
From 1866-97 the family resided primarily in Brooklyn, NY, although the 1870 census lists them in Detroit.
Malachi died in Brooklyn, 27 Nov 1897.
New York Tribune, 28 Nov 1897.
Death of Malachi Taylor
Malachi Taylor, seventy years old, died yesterday at No 1,403 Pacific St Brooklyn, in the house of the late Mrs Theodore Tilton. He used to conduct services for businessmen in this city. He was one of the leaders in what was called the “Plymouth Brethren,” society with which Mrs Tilton had identified herself.
Mary Watts and Robert Taylor. Children were:
Malachi Taylor, d. November 27, 1897, Brooklyn, New York.
Edward G Taylor. Occupation: Baptist clergyman
Margaret Taylor, m. Ephraim Soliday Widdemer, Occupation: Rector of Christ church, Yonkers, NY
Jane Taylor, m. Joseph N Folwell, Occupation: Reverend.
Married Sarah (Sallie) Mitchell in ~1856.
1865 Death of baby Lynd
1870 Census: Detroit Michigan
Household Gender Age
Malachi Taylor M 45y
Sallie M Taylor F 42y
Robert Taylor M 13y
Fred Taylor M 11y
Walter Taylor M 7y
Maud Taylor F 2y
1877 Death of Sarah
Sarah died on 18 Jan 1877.
Brooklyn, NY, Feb 1, 1877.
Beloved brother—Your letter of fellowship was received duly. I have been greatly occupied and could not answer. God has pleased to bring near to me His precious Word, and make true his title as “the God of all comfort” by ministering to my heart on the departure of my darling wife to Himself on the 18th of January. I have made my boast in Him in times past, and surely by opening new avenues for His love to enter, He will make me still to boast in Him.
But, oh! what she was to me, to the children, and to His own in many places. Peculiarly intelligent in the truth, she was most thoroughly with me in all my work, so that she seemed to do all that I did, and more. My meetings taking me out almost every evening, she tied the family together, gathering and keeping them while I was away, and her power was sweetly for the Lord and from Him. Our house has been an open one for the saints for years, and she was happy, though with a poor, broken body, to be used in service for them. In all ways her life seems to have been like a sweet poem, precious and complete in all relations, and this simply through her absolute dependence on the Lord and His Word. It was His wisdom, His love and grace she was showing. And so she was independent of man, walking before Him. I always felt she was the practical expression of the sweetest truth I was teaching. I thank God for the twenty-one years of life with her, and now find Him turning my eyes more toward the resurrection and His coming and the glory. That is everything.
In the beginning of her sickness neither she nor I believed it would come to death. We rather thought, as we had taken our lessons together so long, so we should gather the deeper teaching together from sickness rather than death. But it was to be the infinite rest for her, and the waiting for me. And now I can see how kind it was of Him not to let my mind sink to that thought, but to allow my poor heart to get adjusted to the great fact, and consent to it, under His handling.
God has cast much upon Himself to make up all to me, to us. But I know Him and He loves us. I know, too, all about her. I know the company she keeps—forever with the Lord. It is enough. He is true. And so I go on, “always confident,” waiting the “little while,” and then—!
It may be the Lord is closing me up from going outside of New York to the many places both east and west I have had on my heart, as I have to be both father and mother to my children. But there is plenty in this neighborhood to be done, and one can keep very busy all the time.
I hope you have renewed opportunities of meeting dear brother S, and whether you have or not, you and your wife have been breaking bread. The Lord will honor those who honor Him in this, making a testimony through the quiet going on of that which is according to His mind, more than by much attempt at talking.
Much love to you both, in the Lord Jesus Christ. Yours in Him,
1879 List of Meetings
Chapman’s Hall, 1586 Fulton Ave.
- M Taylor, 303 Putnam Ave.
- D S Veitch, Sackman St. (East N.Y.)
1880 Census: Brooklyn NY.
Name Age Birthplace Occupation Parents’ Birthplace
Malachi Taylor 52 PA Clergyman PA
Robert M Taylor 23 PA Dealer In Butter PA
Frederick M Taylor 21 NY Clerk In Store PA
Walter M Taylor 17 PA Clerk In Store PA
Maud M Taylor 12 MI At School PA
Mary Hill 29 Ireland Servant Ireland
Unguarded statements and inappropriate discipline
Ref. Letters of JND vol.3
p.148 [J H Gilmour] MY DEAR BROTHER,—The divine nature and place of Christ must be held above all question. All men shall “honour the Son, even as they honour the Father”: He and the Father are one—all the fulness of the Godhead in Him bodily: “the Word was God,” and created all things. I might quote texts without number to shew it: it enters into the very warp of the whole truth of scripture. I put this in the forefront of my reply. The ADONAI JEHOVAH of Isaiah 6 was Christ.
This is not the question, nor do I believe it to be a question with our dear brother M Taylor. Did I suppose he denied this as I have heretofore said, I might seek his restoration, but I should as so holding, disown him altogether. But we must remember that no man knows the Son but the Father; that this—all concerning Him—was when in the form of God He made Himself of no reputation (“emptied himself”) and took the form of a servant and was found in the likeness of men [having] laid aside the form of divine glory, and for our sakes and for the Father’s glory humbled Himself even to death “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him”; through which having accomplished redemption He now sits as man at the right hand of God. He has received the glory as man though He had it with the Father before the world was. Hence we find that in the days of His flesh, with strong crying and tears He made His supplication unto Him who was able to save Him from death; that He could say “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” and “Father into thy hands I commend my spirit,” and now risen can and does say to His disciples, My Father and your Father, My God and your God.
If this humiliation of Christ be lost, all is lost with it. In our relationships, therefore, we say, “to us there is but one God the Father … and one Lord Jesus Christ.” I cannot doubt that M Taylor has made unadvised and undesirable statements, the effect certainly being to turn away from the worship of the Lord Jesus. I have found this cropping up in Pennsylvania. But I regret deeply the way in which it has been taken up; and, it may seem strange, but I attribute much of the effects, such as existed in Pennsylvania, to the way in which what he said was taken up: because what may have been rash and unadvised was pushed to the utmost possible extreme of heresy, and others from favouring him defended this… . It is possible, too, he may have sought too much to defend himself.
I do not see any contradiction in these two letters. My present conviction is, that he did not deny worship to Christ, but that he did decline addressing himself to Christ at the Table, though leaving liberty to others. This happened in my own case in Brooklyn. There is a great difference between the worship there being addressed to Christ and to the Father; the whole tone of the meeting is changed by it: this I have long noticed. Though with no formal intention, I seldom give thanks without being led to both, but quite sensible of the difference; and worship, when met for it, is more suitably to the Father, if people are up to it. But if it was taken as objecting to addressing Christ I should resist that. I dare say Taylor made a kind of system of this without being clear. But I doubt a little that the mass of brethren are quite clear as to the real bearings of the question. I believe a little wisdom would have made it the occasion of all getting clearer on what spiritually is practically important, instead of its being a ground of conflict and attack. I have no sympathy with the way it has been done. If Taylor repelled any address to Christ in breaking bread, I think he would have tied himself to a system which marred the liberty of the Spirit in himself; and this, though leaving others free, I cannot doubt he did: a general denial of worship to Christ I doubt; and I somewhat doubt, but from my general acquaintance with the state of souls, that the brethren understood the bearing of insisting on worshipping the Father. There was a system, instead of the guidance of the Spirit in Taylor’s mind, and then I fear, some self-defence, as there had been unguarded and exaggerated statements; and the whole thing has degenerated into moral charges.
As I see things now, were I at —, I should object to the charge of any intended falsehood in these letters. I do not think the explanatory one clear, and I doubt that — was clear about it; but that is another question: and ill as he is now it would be quite unseemly to press the matter against him. This is a mercy from God for you all. But you must be careful at — if you decline endorsing the attack of the others, not to get into a separation outward or inward from the rest… . I trust the Lord may restore peace and mutual confidence; but this is easier lost than restored.
Your affectionate brother in Christ.
I doubt there was any definite doctrine as to the Lord in Taylor’s mind, but I apprehend there was a theory and system as to addressing Him at the Lord’s table, and that it was not the leading of the Holy Ghost at the time.
p.150 My Dear J Boyd,—I did not wait for your letter to express my feelings to the brethren as to the way in which they took up M Taylor’s case. Not only did I not like the spirit of it, but I do not think they knew the bearing of the question. Still there was evil: I think their position augmented it, because others took up what they accused Mr Taylor of, and defended what he could not himself have maintained.
In Pennsylvania there was an attack made on worshipping the Lord Jesus, and contempt poured out on those who did. When I was at Brooklyn, and had broken the bread, and had addressed the Lord Jesus, one remarked to him, ‘Mr D can do it!’ He said ‘He may be at liberty to do it, but I cannot.’ He admitted that, though leaving others at liberty, he could not do it there. I do not think he meant to deny worship to Christ absolutely; but in getting fresh apprehensions of direct approach to the Father by grace, he got his mind, often hasty though so true to the Lord, into confusion in putting his fresh knowledge in its place; and being attacked (by what, I believe, was inadequate apprehension, though in the main seeking Christ’s glory) instead of humble spiritual inquiry that all might be clear from the word, he defended what he was not clear about.
That Christ could say, “Before Abraham was I am;” that even when humbled and in the flesh all should honour the Son as they honour the Father must be fully maintained—is beyond controversy for the [Christian]; and it is a fact that many had been led away from this. I justly believe MT sound as to the divinity of the Lord; but as to worshipping Him there was confusion, through the thought of worshipping the Father being a higher thing; and this had gone further perhaps than he meant in the minds of many… .
Ever yours in the Lord.
p.170 [R T Grant] MY DEAR BROTHER,—I have long had before me as a present purpose writing to you, though I had no special subject before me, but I was brought very low, and for a little while it was more a question of leaving this world altogether than of writing letters. I am better: God did not see good to remove me at present, though for a little while my heart was looking that way. It is a good thing to have it near one. It was the action of the heart giving way from overwork, and I had a bad fall on that, and being in my eighty-first year I am still feeble under it, but sensibly better.
As regards the question you put, it has exercised saints, and the case has been before us of old, but one would not accept a person who would not worship Christ. I took this same ground at Auburn, in Maine. There are certain vital truths connected with the Person of the Lord, which, when possessed, guard the soul from interpretations to which the soul who merely follows the words may be liable. Tell me I am not to worship Christ: you take away the only Christ I know. I have none other but one I do adore and worship with a thankful heart which owes all to Him. The object of John 16:27 is to give immediate confidence in the Father, in contrast with the spirit of Martha, chapter 11:22. Here the Lord says, “I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: for the Father himself loveth you.” Further, the question is not of worship here at all, they should ask Him nothing but were to beg the Father in His name. But all the angels of God are to worship Him, every knee to bow to Him. But more; calling on the name of the Lord is, so to speak, the definition of a Christian. Paul thrice besought the Lord to take away the thorn, and the Lord heard his cry and answered. Stephen was “invoking and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Christ is the Adonai of the Old Testament, as Isaiah 6 and John 12 and indeed Psalm 110 and other places. The Sitter on the throne and the Lamb are associated in Revelation 5: 13; indeed, it is a question if chapter 4 be not the Son in His divine Person. You cannot separate the Ancient of Days and Christ in Daniel 7, though as the Son of man, He is brought before Him; for in verse 22 the Ancient of Days comes. And judgment is committed to the Son “because he is the Son of man”—yet “that all men should honour the Son even as they honour the Father.” I do not quote passages to prove His Deity—that He and the Father are one, the fulness of the Godhead dwelling in Him bodily; that He was God, and created all things—as it is not called in question.
As to the use of the Lord’s name in addressing the Father, if it be that in substance the prayer is not in His name, I reject it altogether. The use of the blessed Lord’s name did not belong to a lower state, for He says, “Hitherto ye have asked nothing in my name,” whereas on His going away He says, “Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name,” so that it belongs distinctly to this time. If it is merely the form of words, it is another thing; we may get into any routine of words and lose the force. But our prayers are only rightly directed to the Father in the name of Jesus; and in walking down here, it is not as being in Him we pray, nor is that praying in His name—true as it is that we are in Him. It is rightly addressed to the Father according to all the value of Christ to the Father, but as a separate Person, and separate from the Father too. It will not do to deny the mediatorship of Christ, the Man Christ Jesus, between God and man. He is both present with God, and Advocate with the Father. The loss of the mediatorial place of the blessed Lord would be the loss of Christianity. To “us there is but one God the Father;” “and one Mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ.” His divine nature is not the question in this, and I know of no right prayer that is not in His name; it is not in Him, but “through him we both have access by one spirit to the Father.”
One who refused to worship Christ, or who did not own His mediatorship and that in every aspect, I could not walk with. But I think that worship of the Father and the worship of Christ as Mediator has a different character. In worshipping the Father I go to one who in infinite, uncaused love (the form and glory of Godhead never left) has revealed Himself to me, brought me into the place of son, not spared His own Son for me, reconciled me to Himself by Him, and given me His Spirit that I may have the consciousness of the place He has put me in, so that I cry, Abba, Father. It is all through Christ but I know the Father and what He is through Him—alas, yet how imperfectly! yet so as to joy or glory in God. It is God, but God known as Father, John 4:23: John always makes the difference. So Christ tells us He was going to His Father and our Father, and His God and our God. It is what the Father is in Himself to whom we are brought, and as revealed in love in the Son, we being made sons, that is specially before us in worshipping Him, though all blessings flow from Him. Now in the worship of Christ become Mediator, I own His divine title though He laid aside His glory—now taken again—but it is One who has come down to me, has lived and died for me, loved me, washed me from my sins in His own blood. He was slain and has redeemed to God those far from Him; has made Himself of no reputation; and in unutterable grace to me, has been in all points tempted like as we are, sin apart, can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities. Now I quite admit a child owes worship to a loving Father—all right; but sorrows, exercises, thorns in the flesh, cases where I want sympathy, my wants, and then the administration of everything in the church, connect themselves with my looking to and worshipping Christ viewed as Mediator. It is not a person simply as made partaker of the divine nature, and through the Spirit knowing the Father through the revelation of the Son, who worships the Father as so knowing Him. I come more into the scene as knowing Christ a tempted Saviour, as a Friend tried in the circumstances in which we are. Were He not God this would lose all its value, but it is of inestimable value to every exercised soul. But it is evident that it connects itself more with my state down here. It is just what is precious.
This is true, that the work of Christ has been so divine and glorious, God Himself glorified in it, that it lifts us up to worship Him in respect of the excellency of what He has shewn Himself to be in that, and so we rise up to Godhead: for hereby know we love because He laid down His life for us. This it is important to lay fast hold of for His glory. We at once see the unity of thought, purpose, mind, nature, in the Son and in the Father. Still it is practically true that souls are apt to rest in looking at Christ, however justly, in the mediatorial aspect which concerns themselves, and their worship descends to this. It is not the blessed nature of God in which they joy and glory, and that known in a Father’s love as their Father, but in the grace and service and benefits of which they are the objects and recipients, found in Christ. Now this cannot be separated when true from the source of love in Him as a divine Person, but is connected with our wants, infirmities, and failures in a word—which, though divine grace, refer to self, and in which we ought to think of self, that the sense of it may be real, and we filled with divinely given thankfulness. Both are right, both are sweet, and what we have to cultivate by grace, but different. One lifts us up simply to God for our new man to dwell in and delight in, and surely worship Him. The other brings down that love in sympathetic goodness to our state, though felt and estimated by the new man—God revealed, but as entering into all we are, and all we want, and that even to our sins. Now that the adoring recognition of this is true worship I fully admit, and the exclusion of it wholly wrong and deadening to the affections of the soul; but it is a different thing from the soul, by the Holy Ghost, being with and adoring the Father, to whom Christ has brought us, loved as He is loved. I apprehend there was the tendency in —’s teaching, desirous of reaching to the former, to set aside the latter, and that was all wrong; but I fear brethren active in the matter had not learned to appreciate the difference between the two. The result was attack and then personal defences, and many things defended by others as right which were rash and ill-advised statements which might have been corrected.
Take hymns and see how many you have addressed to the Father, or which continue to have Him and not ourselves for their subject after the first verse? You may, perhaps, have hymns to the Father; but in revising the hymn book I found how grave a question the doing it had raised for me as to this: though our spiritual state affects everything we do, yet it requires a more spiritual state than hymns to Christ, though He be worthy of equal honour. But while I make this difference, you cannot separate them by a sharp mathematical line, so to speak. Affections do not flow in that way. And the love of the Father and the Son run into one another. If the Father did not spare His Son, the Son in the same divine love gave Himself. We have known the Father through His revelation of Him. “He that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.” The incarnation, and service which follows it in grace, has given a special character to our heart relationship with Christ, but after all, all is of the same divine source. Worshipping the Father as being in Christ has been spoken of, as substituting it for worshipping Christ; but I find no such thought in scripture. In Christ is our place and privilege; worship is a separate thing which springs through grace from our hearts individually, or, yet rather, collectively; but worshipping in Him I find no trace of in scripture.
Affectionately yours in the Lord.
p.174 Dear Mrs Browne,—I was very glad to hear of these different souls whom God is leading on. It is always so pleasant to see God working in blessing, and souls opening under the rays of His grace, for what He does, though it may be in a short moment, is eternal… . It is not a good sign when people do not like a yoke being put upon them if the yoke be God’s word. “Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly of heart.” We like our own will. There may be a bondage which is not of Christ, if it is that of man on the new man, but subjection of will is the secret of all peaceful walk in this world. It is Christ’s work which gives peace to the conscience; but it is a subdued will, having none of our own which in great and in little things makes us peaceful in heart in going through a world of exercise and trial. All in us, morally speaking, is sin, and having done with that, we live in what the Father is for us, and on what Christ is a wondrous exchange. Self is always alienation from God; that is, in its working.
As to Mr. —’s teaching on Matthew 13:38-43; I do not know what it is: —’s interpretation of verses 44, 45, I do, and never received—his interpretation made it not the kingdom of heaven at all—nor did I as to the bride: Ephesians 5 and Revelation 22:17 seem to me to contradict it expressly. But mistaken interpretations are not false doctrine.
Luke 11:5, etc., is a general statement, that if we ask we shall get. In Luke 18 there is more reference to importunity, but not to its being exactly God’s way, but that when the answer, for God’s own wise reasons, does not come at once (for the answer may imply many things which God cannot well do), then we should persevere. It is not sufficient to know what is the true ground; there must be adequate motive. Christ must be all to us or we shall soon be discouraged, and this true of everything. When Christ is not everything, and the Father’s love the air we breathe for life, we are not going right.
I sorrow over the way Mr. —’s case has been taken up. I have no doubt he spoke unguardedly and was wrong in certain views; but I doubt brethren understood what was in question. I admit his statements had done mischief to some, but the way it was taken up added to it. There might have been a gain of spiritual apprehension; I fear now there may have been loss, but the Lord will overrule it. “That all men should honour the Son as they honour the Father” with whom He is one, scripture is plain enough about, and that it lies at the basis of all truth is a first principle of Christianity. But I trust the Lord will give peace.
I am at a local conference out of London, the first experiment I have made of my strength. It is now some months since I preached, but have been four times to breaking of bread.
Yours sincerely in the Lord.
The striking feature of their ministry was their simple exposition of Bible passages. They did not preach a series of sermons on different topics or hold series of evangelistic meetings, as Moody did. Rather, they held Bible study meetings. The ministry of Malachi Taylor, who died in 1897 and was succeeded for two years by A C Gaebelein, is a good example of how they worked. For a period of about twelve years he held a daily Bible study meeting in Temple Court in New York City. Darby himself gave a series of studies at Farwell Hall at D L Moody’s invitation. It was this method, taken no doubt from the Brethren's example, that was expanded and used so effectively by James H Brookes and his associates in Bible conferences all over the country.
Chapter Four. Remarkable Providential Leadings and the Beginning of a New Testimony
The writer, attending the Point Chautauqua Conference, met there for the first time a man and his wife from New York. Francis Emory Fitch was the head of a printing establishment and the printer of the New York Stock Exchange lists. He was a member of the so-called Plymouth Brethren, a body of believers who probably have had as large a share in bearing testimony for the faith delivered unto the saints and also prophecy as any other body during the nineteenth century. Mr Fitch knew Dr Scofield. More than that, he had become the printer and publisher of the Bible Correspondence Course which Dr Scofield had begun several years before, but which was then still uncompleted. During the fall of 1898 the Fitch Company started printing “Our Hope”, which the writer began to publish in 1894. It was in September, just after my return from the Point Chautauqua meetings, that Mr Fitch came to me with a proposition. For a number of years a gifted Bible teacher, Malachi Taylor, a Baptist preacher, had held noonday meetings for Bible study in the financial district of New York. They were held in a building known as Temple Court. Mr Taylor had gone home a short time before, but the supporters of these noon-day meetings felt that they should be continued. Different brethren were used as supplies. Among them was Dr Arthur T Pierson, who lived in Brooklyn; and Dr Scofield also spoke there once. Mr Fitch came to the writer with the invitation to supply these noonday services regularly. I accepted the invitation.
After our first meeting Mr Fitch introduced the writer to certain brethren who supported the meetings. The first was a young real estate broker, Alwyn Ball, Jr, a member of the large and successful firm of Southack & Ball. It was the beginning of the skyscraper days and Mr Ball had distinguished himself in some large transactions. Our first meeting resulted in a lifelong friendship. The next man I met was John T Pirie, owner and New York representative of the Chicago department store, which still functions under the name of Carson, Pine, Scott and Company. Another friendship was started. I had several years of blessing in these Temple Court meetings.
 Wayne County Marriages 1837-1870. Sarah M Taylor is listed as a witness on a wedding conducted by Malachi Taylor.
Her maiden name is given as Sally Mitchell on son Frederick’s marriage certificate.
Her name is spelled Sallie on the family’s 1870 census record. She was then listed as 42, and Malachi as 45, an evident inaccuracy.
 See poems in “Musings in the Wilderness”. Two were written on anniversaries of SMT’s passing:
p.304 “A Year with the Lord”
p.309 “Four Years”
 See poems in “Musings in the Wilderness”. Two were written on MT’s birthdays, yielding his date of birth, and the sorrows associated with his ‘discipline’
p.312 “At Fifty-Three” <1881>
p.316 “The Year and I” <1882> Ref to Oct 9. p.317 ref to his ‘discipline’.
 C Norman Kraus, Dispensationalism in America, (Richmond, VA: John Knox,1958), p.47
 The History of the Scofield Reference Bible